34 Years of Legalized Abortion in America

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January 22nd, 2007 marks the 34th anniversary of legalized abortion on demand in the United States.  In 1973, Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton rendered abortion legal through all nine months of pregnancy for almost any reason.  Thirty-four years later, as the country is slowly becoming more Pro-Life, over 1.2 million abortions are still committed each year.  

Texas is 4th among the most Pro-Life states in the country, according to the 2006 Americans United for Life National Pro-Life State Analysis, and we will most likely move up in the 2007 report.  These rankings are based on our Pro-Life legislature, public assistance to pregnant women, as well as the Pro-Life legislation that we have worked hard to pass.    
 
As in Texas, the United States has been becoming more Pro-Life.  A 2006 Harris Poll headline read: “Support for Roe vs. Wade Declines to Lowest Level Ever; U.S. Adults Almost Equally Split: 49 Percent in Favor, 47 Percent Oppose.”  We also know that when respondents are asked more specific questions (regarding partial-birth abortion, abortion due to financial concerns, or abortion throughout all nine months of pregnancy, for example), they are even more Pro-Life than represented in these general polls. 
 
According to the most recent abortion records, the Alan Guttmacher Institute (the research branch of Planned Parenthood) reported 1.287 million abortions in 2003.  This was a decrease from 1.293 million in 2002.  Unfortunately, the government does not require that abortions be reported; therefore, we do not have an accurate view of how many abortions are truly being committed.  (One priority for the Texas 80th legislative session will be to ensure that Texas has uniform reporting requirements.)  The national abortion numbers are dropping slightly, but so many lives still need protection.  
 
The abortion numbers in Texas have increased slightly from 72,441 in 2004 to 74,399 in 2005 (an increase of under 3%).  While not a drastic change, any increase in the abortion rate is tragic and motivates us to redouble efforts in educating Texans about abortion and the many local assistance programs available to pregnant women.    
 
Induced Abortions as a Percentage of Reported Pregnancies
Texas Residents 1990-2005

YEAR

ABORTIONS

BIRTHS + FETAL DEATHS

% ABORTIONS

Annual Reduction Since 1990

% Reduction Since 1990

Total Lives Saved Since 1990

1990

90,051

318,343

22

 

 

 

1991

87,679

319,788

22

2,372

2.63

2,372

1992

87,230

322,787

21

2,821

3.13

5,193

1993

86,360

323,969

21

3,691

4.10

8,884

1994

83,823

323,127

21

6,228

6.92

15,112

1995

83,419

324,706

20

6,632

7.36

21,744

1996

87,677

332,202

21

2,374

2.64

24,118

1997

81,526

335,798

20

8,525

9.47

32,643

1998

78,887

344,173

19

11,164

12.40

43,807

1999

77,291

351,240

18

12,760

14.17

56,567

2000

73,155

365,475

17

16,896

18.76

73,463

2001

74,101

367,407

17

15,950

17.71

89,413

2002

76,278

374,646

17

13,773

15.29

103,186

2003

76,019

379,632

17

14,032

15.58

117,218

2004

72,441

N/A

N/A

17,610

19.56

134,828

2005

74,399

N/A

N/A

15,652

17.38

150,480

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